WELCOME

Edit: I WAS CURED AFTER 22 YEARS! I had a vestibulectomy Dec. 2016. The recovery was easier for me than having sex ever was. It took about 5 weeks. I have included my recovery photos. Look for the blogpost "I'm Cured!"

I’m a great woman with a pissed-off vulva. I have “primary vestibulitis." Most people are uncomfortable discussing their genital pain in public. Well, I’m not…so, welcome to my blog! There aren’t definitive answers in medical literature to explain the pain cycle of pelvic pain and how to heal it - yet. My hope is that my 21-year obsession to find help for myself will make your experience shorter, easier, and less painful. P.S. Recently "vestibulitis" has been renamed to "vestibulodynia."

I'M CURED!


I had surgery - a full vestibulectomy - December 9th, 2016. I took pictures throughout the process so as to share them with you. 

Surgery with Dr. Conway, December 9, 2017. 
We had done a consult in advance by phone and then also did an exam in New Hampshire where St. Joseph's Hospital is located. He determined me an ideal candidate for surgery because of the success rate for those with my medical history and symptoms. Note: there are many people for whom there are less invasive treatment options and who should not have surgery. 

My pain management was Tramadol as I cannot take codeine-based medication, plus alternating Advil and Tylenol. I mostly stayed in bed and limited my walking so as to not disturb the stitches. I bled from the surgery site for the next 9-days. I wore a heavy pad that I changed often. I did not ever touch the surgery site. 

3 Days



9 Days


The swelling is down significantly, the tissue is looking healthy. It is easy to see what parts were sewn together. You can see two light kidney-like shapes next to each finger. This were sort of hard and sensitive, but resolved over the next few weeks.

I flew home from New Hampshire after a 10-day post-surgery recovery and another exam by Dr. Conway, December 19, 2017. Interestingly, he said that any gynecologist should be able to perform this as a trained surgeon. I was happy I did it this way although it was costly because of the flight and the hotel room. However, St. Joseph's takes standard medical insurance so the actual surgery and pre/post-care was $500, I recall.

I saw my at-home Gynecologist on December 23, 2017 to have her look at the surgical site should any problems occur in the future. I had pain to the right side of my vaginal opening. She concluded was from cutting through a nerve root. It resolved itself in 3-weeks.


3 Weeks
You can see the last of the stitches. The are the pale yellow remnants that look like worms. These fall out on their own over time.



4 Weeks, January 2, 2017


5 Weeks

I was able to have intercourse 5 weeks out from surgery. It wasn't painful and hasn't been since.

8 weeks, February 3, 2017

All done healing.

Today

I am so grateful not to be in constant pain, or any pain. I have more energy. I don't spend my time emotionally accepting what I cannot do because of the pain. I can wear pants.

Pain is so tiring and demoralizing.

I do have some sensitivity to excessive friction on my inner labia. I don't feel high pressure to address this, but I will. I think creams or hormones will help.

My marriage did break up. It is common for this to occur, although I think it usually happens more rapidly. It took us 21-years of dealing with my constant sexual pain. Fixing the biological problem did not mitigate the associated emotional trauma in our sex life. We both have so much PTSD around sex because of our shared history. We broke up about seven months after the surgery.




Clitoral Anatomy and Orgasmic Structures

A reader generously forwarded this to me which provides amazing detail of all parts of female anatomy with a special emphasis on the clitoris and anatomical structures related to orgasm.
http://www.womenshealthinwomenshands.org/Anatomy.htm. Link also has photos of external genitalia. Lots of variation among women!





Our Anatomy


*Images taken from a New View of a Woman's Body, A Fully Illustrative Guide by the Federation of Feminists Women’s Health Centers...Drawings by Suzann Gage

Vulva
Vulva

If you look in a mirror, you can see your vulva, a fatty layer of skin covered by pubic hair. This woman’s vulva surrounds and protects the clitoris. In addition to the pubic mound, the vulva includes the outer lips and the anus, which are darker in color than the clitoris itself or the skin surrounding it. The visible parts of the clitoris in this illustration are the hood; the frenulum, where the skin of the inner lips meets at the glans; the clitoral opening to the vagina; the hymen; the fourchette; the perineum; and the urethra.

Muscles Underneath Clitoris

Clitoris
Beneath the pubic mound the pelvic bones flare out forming a triangular space, called the pelvic outlet, which is generally wider than in men. During its birth the baby passes through this outlet.

Two pairs of long slender muscles frame the pelvic outlet. One pair (the ischiocavernosus) runs alongside the pelvic bones, forming two sides of the triangle, with the glans of the clitoris at its apex. The other pair (the transverse perineal muscles) extends laterally from the perineum and connects these muscles, forming the base of the triangle. A third pair of muscles (the bulbocavernosus) also extend from the glans of the clitoris within the triangle downward under the outer lips, connecting at the perineum. You can locate these muscles by squeezing as if you wanted to stop the flow of urine or a bowel movement.

During orgasm, these muscles, which lie just beneath the top layer of skin and fat, all contract in unison, compressing the soft, engorged tissues of the clitoris between them. At the same time, they compress the more interior tissues between themselves and the underlying broad layers of muscles.

A small ligament divides the cartilage when the pubic bones meet. It is attached to the clitoral shaft and draws it and the glans up during sexual arousal. The round ligament of the uterus (or womb) runs along each side of the lips of the clitoris.

Erectile Tissue of the Clitoris

Clitoris
Through self-examination, you can locate many of the structures which lie beneath the surface of the skin.
 Under the top layer of muscles lies a layer of erectile tissue ad blood vessels. In the top layer of muscles lies a layer erectile tissue and blood vessels. In the clitoris, there are two types of erectile tissue: one is more firm and the other is more elastic. When filled with blood during sexual excitement, they both become firmer and support erection. The blood that fills these intricate, tightly packed compartments of tiny arteries and veins comes from larger arteries.
The shaft and legs of the clitoris are long, thin bands of firm tissue which flare outward from the shaft along the pubic bones. The bulb of the clitoris, which is underneath the outer lips and top layer of muscle, is made up of the more elastic tissue. Another spongy body, extends inward along the ceiling of the vagina. This pad of soft tissue can be easily located by inserting your finger into the vagina and pressing forward towards the pubic bone; it surround the urethra, undoubtedly protecting it from direct pressure during sexual activity. This structure was not named in textbooks so we called in the “urethral sponge”.
 There are two sets of glands within the clitoris which have ducts that open to the outside. One set are minute and their specific function, if any, is unknown. The other, the vulvovaginal glands, do secrete a few drops of fluid during sexual arousal. Usually, a woman becomes aware of the latter glands only if they become infected and enlarged.

Pelvic Muscles

Pelvic Muscles
Attached to either side of the flared pelvic bones and wrapped around both the rectum and vagina is the pelvic diaphragm, a voluntary muscle. All the structures of the clitoris rest on this large muscle which tightens the rectum and vagina when contracted. Dr. Arnold Kegal of Los Angeles has drawn attention to this muscle, the pubococcygeal, by advocating that it be strengthened to increase sexual pleasure. He recommends that, several times a day, you repeatedly contract this muscle as if to stop the flow of urine or the bowel movement. Childbirth educators also suggest this and similar exercises to make this muscle and the other muscles of the clitoris stronger and more elastic.

Cross Section of the Clitoris

Cross Section of the Clitoris
In all of the anatomy and sex education books we studied, there were several cross sections of the penis, but no cross section of the clitoris. This cross section shows very clearly the organs and other muscles involved in sexual response. The clitoris is in a nonerect, nonexcited state.
Not shown are the clitoral muscles which are very much involved in orgasm.

Clitoris in Pelvis

Clitoris in Pelvis
This illustration shows how the clitoris is situated in the pelvis. The insert shows the pelvic bones.

Outer/Inner View of Non-Erect Clitoris

Outer/Inner View of Non-Erect Clitoris
Theses illustrations show the clitoris and its underlying tissue in a nonerect state. Here, the glans is nestled among the folds of the hood and is visible because the hood has been pulled back. The woman in this illustration is stimulating the clitoris manually. Her fingers are pressed on either side of the shaft and she is “rocking” her hands, pushing the flesh of the mound back and forth over the pubic bone. Self-help research has shown that many women’s clitoris do not look a great deal like the standard anatomy-book illustrations.

Outer/Inner View of Excitement-Plateau

Outer/Inner View of Excitement-Plateau
3-20, 3-21: Excitement. The clitoris becomes erect when the underlying spongy bodies fill with blood. This signifies the first, or excitement, stage of sexual response. At the same time, the vagina “sweats”, which provides lubrication, the vaginal blood vessels widen and fill with blood and the color of the vaginal walls deepens. At this time there is a noticeable increase in the pulse rate and blood pressure. In most women, the glans is not visible at this point because the shaft has been pulled back by the shortened ligament, causing it to retract from view. She is continuing to apply pressure in rhythmic strokes.

3-22, 3-23: Plateau. The bulbs and the urethral sponge become further filled with blood as sexual excitement increases. The valves in the arteries and veins close, trapping the blood in the organ. This is called vasocongestion. The hood enlarges as its supporting ligament shortens and pulls on the shaft, which is now quite hard, and the legs, which have become rigid also. The perineal sponge thickens as it fills with blood, further closing the entrance to the vagina. The uterus, tubes and ovaries swell. The broad ligament, which lies like a blanket over the bladder, swells and tightens, pulling up on the uterus and causing the vagina to enlarge. At this point, her movements have speed up.

Outer/Inner View of Orgasm

Outer/Inner View of Orgasm
3-24, 3-25: Orgasm. Powerful, rhythmic muscle contractions begin. The clitoris shortens dramatically and the inner lips tuck in, covering it. These events are accompanied by the loss of voluntary muscle control, faster breathing, tingling sensations and, sometimes, a rash or flush on the breasts and stomach. Some women experience sharp spasms in their hands and feet. Since one of her hands has become tired, she continues and intensifies the pressure with the other until orgasm.

Outer/Inner View of Resolution

Outer/Inner View of Resolution
3-28, 3-29: Resolution. The contractions of the clitoris prevent blood from flooding the tissues further. The tissues shrink as the pulse rate lowers, the valves in the arteries and veins open and the inner lips return to their original color. Within seconds, the orgasmic contractions grow faint and fade away. She is relaxed and covered with a fine film of perspiration.

Inner View of Aroused Clitoris

Inner View of Aroused Clitoris
During sexual arousal, the intricate chambers of these tissues fill with blood which is then trapped by valves, and the entire clitoris enlarges and changes dramatically. The glans and shaft become erect and maintain their positions until resolution. Underneath, the muscles are taut and contract in response to sexual stimulation.

Inner View of Clitoris at Resolution

Inner View of Clitoris at Resolution
The clitoris is in its nonerect state. The intricate maze, created by the blood vessels and capillaries in the tissues of the glans, shaft and legs, is called corpus cavernosum, which literally mean body of caverns. The urethral sponge, perineal sponge and bulbs differ from corpus cavernosum in that they are made up of tissue that is more elastic and does not become as hard during erection. This tissue is called corpus sponginosum. In the nonerect state, the valves of the clitoral arteries are closed and the valves of the veins are open.

To contact us:
2250 Fair Park Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90041
Phone : 323-960-5026
Fax: 323-960-5026
E-Mail: whwh@womenshealthinwomenshands.org

Medical Marijuana for Vulvar Pain: Foria

There is a relatively new company aimed directly at female genital pain. Foria at http://foriapleasure.com/ offers a product called "Relief" that has cannaboids for muscle relaxation, but no psychoactive effect. The other two products are "Explore" for anal sex and "Pleasure" ...for pleasure.*

I live in California and recently had my gynecologist write me a medical marijuana letter. You don't need a "medical marijuana card" in California. Just a letter stating medical need (without giving a specific diagnosis) and a photo i.d. You can look up a prototype online to give to a doctor.

I read through qualifying reasons for medical marijuana in California. The two that apply to vulvar pain are:
1. Chronic pain; and
2. Any other chronic or persistent medical symptom that substantially limits the ability of the person to conduct one or more major life activities (as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990) or, if not alleviated, may cause serious harm to the patient’s safety or physical or mental health.

I then researched if sex legally qualifies as a major life activity. It does.

I put my gynecologist in a difficult place because I said that I was going to try it and that she could have me see a pot doc for the prescription or have me supervised and under her care. She researched the idea independently and wrote the prescription. I asked her 3 months before my vestibulectomy surgery and it took her forever to get the prescription to me so I didn't try it before the surgery. The surgery was 8 days ago, so I haven't tried it. 

Here is the list for each state about the qualifiers required to get medical marijuana: https://www.leafly.com/news/health/qualifying-conditions-for-medical-marijuana-by-state

*http://whoopiandmaya.com/ also offer a product that I did not research because it seemed like it had more of a "high" orientation and that's not what I was seeking.

Vestibulectomy Surgical Video: What Exactly Happens

The whole video is good, but begin at 3:00 for the vestibulectomy.


Video Presentation 07 VESTIBULECTOMY: A REVIEW OF ... - Vimeo 

https://vimeo.com › SGS Video Archives › Videos
Apr 17, 2015
2014 Video Presentation 07 VESTIBULECTOMY: A REVIEW OF TECHNIQUE C. A. Unger; N. Kow; J. Jelovsek ...

Vestibulectomy Blogs

Here are vestibulectomy blogs (I had my own vestibulectomy 8 days ago). They might help you make a decision as to whether or not to have a vestibulectomy. My doctor, Doctor Conway, spoke to the success rate of up to 90% and explained it is so high, in part, because doctors qualify patients stringently. So, (and this is likely hyperbole on his part when he says) of the 1,000 potential patients who contact him, he may do 10 surgeries for those who have the classic representation of the type of vestibulitis that responds best to surgery.

Mine: http://myvestibulitis.blogspot.com/2016/12/vestibulectomy-day-0-and-1.html

Vulvodynia Siren: One woman's experience with pelvic pain and ...

https://www.pinterest.se/pin/474637248201704588/

Search Results

Vestibulectomy — Blogs, Pictures, and more on WordPress

en.wordpress.com/tag/vestibulectomy/

Everyone's experience with a vestibulectomy will be different, but I thought it could be helpful for me to share my personal experience. My hope is that if you're ...

So you're having a Vulvar Vestibulectomy… - Rocking it like Judy 
www.failuretonap.com/2011/10/frankengina-four-weeks-later/
Oct 5, 2011 - The surgery that I had was called a Vulvar Vestibulectomy. That's fancy for “taking a chunk of 
your skin out of your girl parts.” Basically, for as ...

Unconsummated: Vestibulectomy- Day 1

unconsummated.blogspot.com/2013/06/vestibulectomy-day-1.html

Jun 18, 2013 - Vestibulectomy- Day 1. I had my vestibulectomy today. .... com (Please be aware that I have a busy life outside this blog, and get many emails.

My vulvar vestibulitis /vulvodynia / vestibulectomy / botox rollercoaster

vestibulectomyjournal.blogspot.com/

Nov 3, 2014 - vulvodynia, vestibulitis, vestibulectomy, vulva pain, botox, ... Off-topic: I've been Googling and reading as many vulvodynia blogs as I can ...

The dreaded Vestibulectomy | Tender Trips

https://tendertrips.wordpress.com/2013/07/13/the-dreaded-vestibulectomy/

Jul 13, 2013 - I'm sorry? You are going to do what to my vagina?! Apologies for the delay on this blogpost. I have been pretty busy at work and I wanted to ...

The vestibulectomy is at 3:55 into the video.

Video Presentation 07 VESTIBULECTOMY: A REVIEW OF ... - Vimeo 

https://vimeo.com › SGS Video Archives › Videos
Apr 17, 2015
2014 Video Presentation 07 VESTIBULECTOMY: A REVIEW OF TECHNIQUE C. A. Unger; N. Kow; J. Jelovsek ...

Modified vulvar vestibulectomy: simple anMy Life With VVS: Updates Post Vulvar Vestibulectomy Surgery 6 ...

mylifewithvvs.blogspot.com/2012/06/updates-post-vulvar-vestibulectomy.html

Jun 24, 2012 - Updates Post Vulvar Vestibulectomy Surgery 6 months. Hi Everyone! Sorry it's ... is once you find out. Thanks for keep up with the blog!! Delete.

Attempting Sex: Preparing for Intercourse After Vestibulectomy

mylifewithvvs.blogspot.com/2012/04/attempting-sex-preparing-for.html

Apr 15, 2012 - I'm glad I found your blog. I had this surgery in October. I have been to physical therapy but haven't yet tried intercourse because dilators still ...

R's Story: Vestibulectomy, Clitodynia, and Small Successes - Mad Peach

madpeach.blogspot.com/2013/01/rs-story-vestibulectomy-clitodynia-and.html

Jan 3, 2013 - R's Story: Vestibulectomy, Clitodynia, and Small Successes (Guest Post) .... If you have a pelvic pain story you'd like to share on my blog, please ...

Uncategorized - The Dinah Project

dinahproject.com/category/uncategorized/

Mar 6, 2013 - Blog · Ask Dinah · Contraception ... Day 200 After Surgery 6 months out from the Vestibulectomy surgery and things are still not completely fine.

Topic: My vestibulectomy adventure | Sex In The 21st Century

https://sexualmed.org/forums/topic/my-vestibulectomy-adventure/

Oct 30, 2010 - Hopefully I can help answer any questions you may have, like the other blogs in the forums have done for me! As Dr. G says, we're all hear to ...

d effective surgery for the ...

www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301211504004841

by Y Lavy - ‎2005 - ‎Cited by 50 - ‎Related articles
To evaluate the success of a simple modified vestibulectomy in treating vulvar vestibulitis.Fifty-nine patients with vulvar vestibulitis refractory to nonsurgic.

My Journey Following Vestibulectomy Surgery

discolemonade19.blogspot.com/

Aug 30, 2013 - My Journey Following Vestibulectomy Surgery ... I did the surgery today and decided to start this blog for those who are thinking of surgery or ...

Vestibulectomy recovery blog : vulvodynia - Reddit
https://www.reddit.com/r/vulvodynia/comments/.../vestibulectomy_recovery_blog/
Jul 6, 2015 - Hey yall. I had a partial vestibulectomy about a week ago, and I've been tracking my progress 
with a (until now) private blog. Others recovery...

My Journey Through Vulvodynia: Recovery from vestibulectomy.

myjourneythroughvulvodynia.blogspot.com/.../recovery-from-vestibulectomy.html

Sep 18, 2011 - Recovery from vestibulectomy. So the moment i got home from the surgery i peed and .... Template images by tillsonburg. Powered by Blogger.